4 Classics on my shelf I still need to read

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – I thought this book was longer than it is. It’s actually a reasonable length. I’ve always struggled with Charles Dickens. I know his books are supposed to be humorous? I have never been able to recognise that, trying to get past some of the language and obviously society was different then. I did read Oliver Twist and I liked that one. I will give this a go. I’m sure I have already read some of it.


Howard’s End by E. M. Forster– I read a few pages and I had to put it back down. I find with some classics the way women are spoken of and to is too much. I like to chill with a book sometimes, not only for education and getting angry. I did read A Passage to India by this author, it was recommended by my English teacher at the time and that one I did enjoy. I will have to re-read that.


The Waves by Virginia Woolf – I love the way this woman writes, but. But this didn’t grab me. I put it down and haven’t gotten around to picking it up again yet. I read some of her books and I think I was too young to fully appreciate them. Like Orlando, didn’t get it. I read a lot of classics around the age of 11/12 and while I enjoyed them, I don’t think I fully appreciated when, why etc. they were written and about the writer. I think I just absorbed them.
I love the cover of this book, only cost 80 pence in the 70’s. If only books cost that now. I mean, postage costs a couple of quid.


Far from the Madding Crowd – I read Jude the Obscure when I was 16? Love the name Jude. That’s all it took for me to read it, the name Jude. And that was me done with Thomas Hardy. Done. Too much. Bit like poking a bruise, curiosity made me buy this one, I bought Jude the Obscure too, and perhaps I will read it. Will I re-read Jude the Obscure though? I’m not sure.


 

Grim, Gripping and Excellent Story Telling. The Doll Factory by Elizabeth MacNeal.

The Doll Factory

By Elizabeth MacNeal

Pan MacMillan

Amazon // Waterstones //

df


Silas is a loner, somebody who is a taxidermist. He is on the fringes of society of London in 1850.
Iris is a dissatisfied young woman who works for the horrible Mrs Salter, long hours painting the faces of china dolls at the doll emporium, alongside twin Rose. She is then given the opportunity to realise her dream and live a life she didn’t think was possible.
You also have the character of Albi, a child who introduces the two, and is involved as a go between the two.
It is a grim, bleak read. You can almost smell and feel the world between these pages, the descriptions were that good. You could say the build up was slow, but it’s so gripping in its story, the insights of Victorian life for women, the inequality, amid the backdrop of the Crystal Palace being built.
The ending was gripping. By then I was on the edge of my seat. I was almost on the floor. There’s a twist too, which I didn’t see coming and how the author could do that.

Not for those with a faint heart, The Doll Factory is grim, gripping, and excellent story telling. The Doll Factory had almost everything I love to read in a fiction novel.


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